Free Access
Volume 577, May 2015
Article Number A2
Number of page(s) 12
Section Interstellar and circumstellar matter
Published online 22 April 2015

Online material

Appendix A: Additional experiments

To validate the formation of carbon dioxide, we performed further experiments using the HCO isotopologue of formaldehyde: the results are presented below. The top panel in Fig. A.1 shows three RAIR spectra recorded after irradiation of 2 ± 0.5 ML of HCO with increasing doses of oxygen atoms (0, 1.4, and 3.8 ML, respectively from a to c spectra) on oxidised HOPG at 55 K. Three main features are visible: at 1502 and 1697 cm-1 due to HCO, 13CH2 scissoring and 13CO stretch mode, respectively; at 2285 cm-1 due to the antisymmetric stretch of 13CO2. Moreover, a very weak band due to O3 is present at 1042 cm-1 (not shown). Each IR band varies in intensity from curve to curve. In particular, the HCO bands decrease from spectrum a to spectrum c, and the reverse occurs to the bands of 13CO2. This indicates that HCO is consumed and 13CO2 is formed subsequently to O irradiation. The infrared assignments are confirmed by TPD results shown in the bottom panel of Fig. A.1. These TPD traces were obtained after deposition of 2 ± 0.5 ML of ML of O atoms on oxidised HOPG held at 60 K. Newly formed 13CO2 desorbs between 70 and 90 K and is detected via mass 45. Unreacted HCO molecules desorb between 85 and 140 K and are detected via two fragments: +HCO (mass 31) and +H13CO (mass 30).

thumbnail Fig. A.1

Top panel: three RAIR spectra obtained after deposition of (a) 2 ± 0.5 ML of HCO; (b) 2 ± 0.5 ML of ML of O atoms; (c) 2 ± 0.5 ML of ML of O atoms on oxidised HOPG held at 60 K. Bottom panel: 13CO2 (via mass 45) and (via masses 31 and 30) TPD traces obtained after deposition of 2 ± 0.5 ML of ML of O atoms on oxidised HOPG.

Open with DEXTER

thumbnail Fig. C.1

Optimized geometries: pre-reactive complex (PRC), Transition State 1 (TS1), and Transition State 2 (TS2), from the left to the right panels, respectively.

Open with DEXTER

Table C.1

Calculated activation energies of the O + H2CO reaction.

Appendix B: Rate equations

The model used to fit our experimental data is very similar to the one described in Minissale (2014) and Minissale et al. (2013b; 2014). It is composed of five differential equations, one for each of the species considered: H2CO molecules, deposited on the surface; O atoms, coming exclusively from the beam; O3 and CO2, formed only on the surface; and finally O2, coming both from the beam and formed on the surface. Each differential equation is composed of different terms:

  • positive terms indicate a contribution to the increase in the surface density of the species, i.e., a molecule (or atom) arrives from the gas phase or is formed on the surface;

  • negative terms indicate a decrease in the surface density of the species, i.e., a molecule (or atom) is consumed on the surface or desorbs and returns to the gas phase.

Likewise, the terms involving the ER and LH mechanisms are independent of one another, thus we are able to determine the amount of a species formed (or consumed) via the ER or the LH mechanism. For the sake of simplicity, the differential equations were divided into two sets, accounting for the two formation mechanism separately. Below is the list of equations governing the CO2 formation by the ER mechanism: O, O2, O3, H2CO, and CO2 are the surface densities (expressed in fractions of ML) of the species, τ is the dissociated fraction of O2 defined in Sect. 2, φO2off is the flux (0.003 cm-2 s-1) of O2, ϵ is the evaporation probability – due to chemical desorption of O2 formed on the surface (Dulieu et al. 2013), and are the reaction probability of H2CO+O via ER and the desorption probabilities of O and O2, respectively; ν = 1012 is the trial frequency for attempting a new event. Finally, simple calculations show that 2τφO2off and (1 − τ)φO2off are the O and O2 flux, respectively, when the discharge is on. Similarly, as for CO2 formation by the LH mechanism, we have where are the thermal diffusion probability of O atoms and the reaction probability of H2CO+O via LH, respectively. The activation barrier Ea is derived inverting the normalized Arrhenius equation: (B.16)with either raER or raLH according to the mechanism at play. Here (see Minissale et al. 2013b for more details).

Appendix C: Theoretical calculations

The geometries (Fig. C.1) and energies (Tables C.1 and C.2) were optimized either using DFT with the hybrid meta exchange-correlation functional M06-2X or using classical MP2 method, both methods coupled to the Dunning’s correlation (Dunning 1989) consistent polarized valence triple zeta basis set cc-pVTZ. The highly nonlocal M06-2X functional developed by Truhlar et al. (Zhao & Truhlar 2008) is relatively well suited to structures and energetics calculations of the transition states even though this method slightly underestimates barrier energy. We then also calculate the barrier height using full optimized MP2

method, as well as single point CCSD(T) with MP2 geometries in some cases. The unrestricted Hartree-Fock (UHF) formulation has been used since it is a convenient way to describe open-shell and bond-breaking processes. Its use is justified in our study by the fact that we did not observe any significant spin contamination for all the stationary points explored, the quantum average value S2 of the square of the total spin operator remaining close to 2.00, i.e. the characteristic value for a triplet state. Full geometry optimization was performed throughout. We checked carefully that all the saddle points found are correctly connected to two minima and are characterized by the existence of only one negative eigenvalue of the Hessian matrix corresponding to an imaginary frequency in the normal mode analysis.

Table C.2

Enthalpies of reaction and activation energies calculated at M06-2X/cc-pVTZ level.

© ESO, 2015

Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.

Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.

Initial download of the metrics may take a while.